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Nearly 100 people from over 20 organisations came together under one roof in late November last year. Their purpose? To identify new opportunities for collaborations and explore some of the barriers and facilitators to collaboration in health and social care at our second annual Stakeholder Symposium.

People at the symposium, including nurses, researchers and doctors, came from a wide range of organisations – county councils, CCGs, Universities, charities, NHS organisations and Industry – all with one aim in common: they were interested in how we can work together to improve health and social care in the Thames Valley region and beyond.

CLAHRC Ox SS2015 ballIt was a busy day, with a packed programme. The day started with some well-received 'who's in the room' activities, involving the throwing of a ball around the room, orchestrated by the Saïd Business Schools Dr Angela Aristidou.

This was followed by updates from each of CLAHRC Oxford's theme leaders covering a number of successes and exciting developments over the past year. Examples included the Back Skills Training programme, Emergency Multidisciplinary Units and the OxFAB study.

This was followed by the real crux of the Symposium: the workshops.

A number of our partners planned and ran workshops exploring the different elements, problems and opportunities for collaboration, and giving best-practice examples of how they are working collaboratively to improve health and social care in the Thames Valley region.

The workshops covered a wide range of areas, including industry and NHS collaboration, building research capacity for Allied Health Professionals, involving patients and the public in research, and optimising models of care for rehabilitation services in the Thames valley region.

The programme, with the aims of each workshop, can be found here.

We were extremely pleased with how the symposium went, and the hard work of the CLAHRC team and its partners in putting it together.

Feedback collected after the event showed that 90% of respondents felt the symposium fulfilled their reason for attending, and the symposium received an overall average rating of 8/10.

The symposium sparked a wide range of conversations between different attendees with the result that a number of potential new projects are now in discussion. 

Dr Bruno Holthof, CEO of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, our keynote speaker, summed up the feeling of attendees well, saying, “It's through working together that people start to really respect each other, building connections and having an impact[…]", highlighting the need to create effective collaborations with all stakeholders in health and social care.